Hitachi may be out of the picture (if it was ever actually in the picture to begin with), but it looks like Toshiba is now very close to buying Fujitsu's hard drive business in a deal that's reported to be worth between 30 and 40 billion yen, or anywhere from $335 to $447 million. That would make Toshiba the world's largest supplier of hard drives for laptops and, according to Reuters, it could be all but a done deal by the end of the month, if a supposed meeting between company execs planned for this week goes as expected. The deal wouldn't include Fujitsu's plant in Nagano Prefecture, however, or the hard drive operations of its Yamagata Fujitsu subsidiary -- those would apparently be sold off separately for some extra cash if Fujitsu decides to exit the hard drive business altogether.

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Toshiba said to be nearing deal to buy Fujitsu's hard drive business